Study Finds High Absenteeism in U.S. Workplace

Posted on November 16, 2006

A new study has conducted by Harris Interactive for CCH, Inc. has found that unscheduled absenteeism in the U.S. is at its highest rate since 1999. The absenteeism rate was 2.5% in 2006. That is up from .2% from 2.3% in 2005. The study also says absenteeism can cost large companies about $850,000 per year.

They study also investigated what is behind employees taking unscheduled time away from work. 35% of the time was due to personal illness. 24% was because of a family issue. The other factors include personal needs (18%), stress (12%) and entitlement mentality (11%).

CH Employment Law Analyst Pamela Wolf, JD. says in a statement, "Organizations are engaged in a tug of war for their employees' time. With unscheduled absences trending upward, companies need to get a good understanding of why employees are calling in sick at the last minute, what impact this has on other employees who are expected to pick up the slack, as well as the impact it has on customers and anyone else relying on the absent worker."

It isn't just workers sneaking off for fun. The 2006 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey found that companies with the worst morale also had higher rates of unscheduled absenteeism so there could be a job dissatisfaction element to the unscheduled absenteeism.

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